Winches and deliveries

After a couple of weeks away to do some proper work, learn to weld, and keep the local delivery companies busy ordering the myriad of bits of equipment, tools and fittings required for the refit, it was back to Narwhal to put more of the refit into action. Top of the list was to get the port primary winch which has so far refused to turn back into working order. A few cold weeks had passed since I was last onboard and so the final mile of the journey was tinged with anxiety, how wet will she be inside? How much mildew will require cleaning? How much water will be in the bilge? And can I remember the combination for the padlock? Fortunately I recalled the padlock code and Narwhal turned out to be quite dry inside with only a very faint aroma of boat, easily sorted with a little cleaning. Beds made, heaters and kettle on and she was back to feeling like home. 

The first job was loading all of the deliveries on board. With the amount of boxes it felt quite exciting and like an early Christmas, exciting that is if you like getting toilet fittings and plumbing parts in your festive stocking. We had purchased a new lavac toilet through ebay but being quite large it was collection only. Dutifully I rang up the seller to arrange collection. Greeting a stranger on the phone with the words ‘Hi, I have bought a toilet from you’ felt a little odd but they were unfazed and the collection was arranged. 

The winch apart, a sight I was beginning to think I would never see.

The winch apart, a sight I was beginning to think I would never see.

Exciting unpacking jobs over it was time to get down to business with the misbehaving winch. I had anticipated that stripping the winch down to discover the problem would be a fairly easy task. However the bolts holding the the winch housing to the deck had other ideas. It appeared that they had been in place for a number of years and where quite happy where they were. Neither lubricant, heat, bolt extractors nor liberal application of the hammer would persuade them to move. As in most situations where the way forward appears impossible I took the only sensible option and had a cup of tea. Spurred on by a cuppa I tried a last ditch attempt involving some treaded rod and a very long handled wrench. A series of movements so imperceptibly small that I might have been imagining them were followed by an almighty bang, and joy of joys, the bolts were free! After that the rest of the parts came apart much more easily. The problem was resolved by consulting the manual and putting the parts into their correct locations, something that clearly hadn’t been done the last time it was serviced. Job completed it was time for another cup of tea as the sun set over the marina.

Sunset over the lock at Shotley Marina